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Arts & Entertainment

Student Session: Breaking Down a Script - Part 1

Samuel L. Jackson

Lesson time 15:27 min

Sam directs student actors in a workshop, and the first scene on the docket is the iconic diner scene from Pulp Fiction. In this lesson, Sam helps them break down the script to gain a deeper understanding of the characters’ intentions.

Samuel L. Jackson
Teaches Acting
One of the most successful actors of our generation teaches you how to elevate your acting.
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All right, all right. Good morning. Hey. Good morning. Good morning. How you doing? So thank you guys for being here. I'm glad you made it. Thank you for participating in this with me. New experience for me-- I never criticize people outside my own house. So this is going to be a whole new experience, just discussing it and seeing how it all rocks out. So everybody happy? Nervous? Yeah. Both. No, we're good. Why? Why? There's no judgment here, I mean, real judgment. A bit-- a little judgment. Yeah, a little bit. Yeah. But it's nothing to be nervous about. It's just another day, another great acting opportunity. This is what you want to do. You want to be actors. And every acting opportunity is a blessing. Every opportunity, every audition is a chance to go in and prove to somebody that you're good at what you do. And the level of confidence, the level of proficiency that you know you have-- exhibit it. Never think about getting a job or getting it right. Get it the way you wanted to do it when you go in there so that you show the best part of you. We're going to do this iconic scene from Pulp Fiction, which just happened to be the first thing we shot when we made this movie. This was the first scene that we did. An interesting piece of trivia that I don't think a lot of people know-- in the original script when this scene happens, there was a point where I closed my eyes and I shot Tim through the table and shot Honey Bunny off the bar. And when I opened my eyes, they were still there, because that's what the old Jules would have done. Oh, yeah. yeah. Ah. Quentin didn't shoot it, because he said, now if I shoot it, I'll use it. And I can't stand how you do it-- So there's all kinds of things that should have been shot that were in the script. But that's just stuff. I just put it in your head so I could just kind of see what you'll do with that, knowing that that should have happened here, didn't happen here, whatever. OK. And go ahead. Woo hoo! Let's knock it out. All right. Let's jump at it. [INTERPOSING VOICES] We have our coordination together? You want to practice pushing that top down and pulling that gun up at the same time? Mm-hmm. All right. So we start here? Have it turned around and open like that. So we're starting-- So we're starting with me here. Have it turned around and open. And she's asking-- Goddamn it, what is it? Let her go. Let her go. I'll blow your fucking head off. Tell that bitch to be cool. Say bitch, be cool. Say bitch, be cool! Baby, be cool. Honey Bunny, be cool. Tell her it's going to be OK. Promise her. I promise it's going to be OK. Tell her to chill. You got to chill the fuck out. Chill out. What's...

Get into Character

As a kid, Samuel L. Jackson stuttered so badly that he stopped talking for almost a year. Today he’s one of the world’s most successful actors, with roles in over 100 films, including Pulp Fiction and The Avengers. In his online acting class, the Oscar-nominated star shares how he creates memorable characters, powerful performances, and a long-lasting career. Learn to master auditions, analyze scripts, and find the truth in every role you play.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

just good, speechless to be honest alot of questions I had in my head where answerd felt like he was directly talking to me.

Great presentation, inspiring and made sense.

Great insight in hearing the wisdom and stories of one of Hollywood's greatest artist. I love Sam

A very interesting and informative class. It's helped me think about the way I write characters.


Katherine W.

I had a drama professor in college who said there are moments in a scene where it costs you to say something. It almost feels like that's what happened with Jules--he realized the severity of the Ezekiel passage and had to admit it out loud. There was no way that was an easy realization, or an easy confession to make.

Freddy l R.

Absolutely awesome lesson! Gives you solid approach about how to not only approach a script or scene, but how to make it your own within the context of the story. Prepare, trust your choices, and go for it.

Antonia T.

So cool! We just saw Pulp Fiction yesterday night! So, this lesson was absolutely amazing & fresh! Sam is the coolest! His performances in Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown are breathtaking.

A fellow student

this will completely change the way i watch movies, as i try myself to dissect each character and try to assess how this character has been built.

A fellow student

12:20-12:50. This explained to me so much in the importance of belief in a character's words, because when hearing it with different pacing, volume, and vocal tone, it was still exactly as impactful, if not more. I am ambitious and I am in pursuit of the opportunity to make movies and score them and edit them. But when I come across, or if need be I become an actor, I am armed with the useful tool of conviction.

QueenLashae S.

Samuel Jackson really knows how to get into character and make it believable!

Blair B.

I learned from watching Samuel Jackson do the lines, but I did not learn from the students.


that black dude acted the best, dude actually acted kinda white vincent like

Chava G.

Every chance you get to prove you know what you are doing, just go ahead and do it. Thank you Mr. Jackson, for showing the method to acting magic that has opened over 100 films for you. When I do it, I am going to do it cool!

Jeff C.

Why are they doing a scene from his movie 🤦‍♂️. If you do a scene from a famous movie, you’re going to naturally copy that performance. Do a scene from a play